The Breaking Bad Cast: Then & Now

The Breaking Bad Cast: Then & Now

1

Bryan Cranston (Then)

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Coming off the success of the hit sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, Bryan Cranston landed the lead role of Walter White in Breaking Bad. His performance won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

2

Bryan Cranston (Now)

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The Breaking Bad star has had a busy year, voicing the narrator of Wes Anderson’s 2023 comedy, Asteroid City. Cranston also appeared in an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia along with his Breaking Bad co-star, Aaron Paul. Cranston has also been an outspoken advocate for entertainment workers during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, attending rallies in New York and LA.

3

Anna Gunn (Then)

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Gunn’s portrayal of Skyler White, Walter White’s wife, earned her several awards including two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The character of Skyler has proven to be contentious among viewers and Gunn is reported to have received several death threats.

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4

Anna Gunn (Now)

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Gunn starred in several episodes of Apple TV’s hit show, Physical, as well as four episodes of the Quibi series, Most Dangerous Game.

5

RJ Mitte (Then)

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Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte played Walter White’s son, Walter Jr. Mitte, who has cerebral palsy like his on-screen character. He landed the role on Breaking Bad just two years after moving to Hollywood in 2006.

6

RJ Mitte (Now)

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Today, Mitte is still acting and an advocate of representation for people with disabilities. He recently starred in The Oak Room on Amazon and Guardians of Justice on Netflix. In 2023, Mitte was a celebrity guest at the pop culture convention Pensacon and stars in the horror movie The Unseen.

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7

Aaron Paul (Then)

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Paul is best known for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman. His performance rightfully earned him multiple Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

8

Aaron Paul (Now)

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In 2023, Paul starred in the Black Mirror Season 6 episode, Beyond the Sea, one of the most devastating and macabre stories in the sci-fi series. Paul also starred as himself along in that goofy Always Sunny episode with Cranston, and honed his voice acting skills as Todd Chavez on the Netflix animation Bojack Horseman from 2014 to 2020. He also heads a Mezcal brand with his former co-star Bryan Cranston.

9

Dean Norris (Then)

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Dean Norris played Walter White’s brother-in-law DEA Agent, Hank Schrader. Hank also made an appearance in the Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul.

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10

Dean Norris (Now)

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Norris had a small role in Charlie Day’s 2023 satirical comedy, Fool’s Paradise. Off the screen, Norris’s ventures include running the Swing Inn Cafe in Temecula and a performing arts center with his namesake, which he created with his wife. A self-proclaimed beer aficionado, the award-winning actor also owns a Breaking Bad-inspired brewery called Schraderbräu.

11

Betsy Brandt (Then)

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Brant played Skyler White’s sister and Hank’s wife, Marie Schrader. Brandt originally auditioned for both Skyler and Marie’s parts, and it was her biggest TV role she had ever booked after several years of small parts on shows like CSI, Boston Legal and ER.

12

Betsy Brandt (Now)

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Brant continued on with appearances in the Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul and played Mia Thomas in Hulu’s 2023 series, Saint X.

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13

Bob Odenkirk (Then)

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Known primarily as a writer and sketch comedian before Breaking Bad, Odenkirk was an instant hit as one of the show’s most beloved characters. He played Walter White’s attorney, Saul Goodman.

14

Bob Odenkirk (Now)

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After playing Saul Goodman for all five seasons of Breaking Bad, Odenkirk continued on as the lead character in the spin-off series, Better Call Saul, making him the longest running character from the Breaking Bad series and earning him multiple Emmy Nominations. In 2023 Odenkirk had a guest role in the second season of the hit show The Bear, as well as the AMC series Lucky Hank.

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Nina Derwin

Nina Derwin is a Brooklyn-based writer with a passion for the art of storytelling. In addition to writing articles for various clients and publications, Nina has written several episodes of scripted television for networks including Starz and Fox.  

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